Sportswriters around the nation rejoiced when the LSU Tigers announced that they were going to take the interim off of Ed Orgeron’s title at the end of last season. Coach O is a reporter’s dream and continues the recent LSU tradition of hiring quirky coaches. He is an excellent recruiter and is a player’s coach through and through. However, expectations are high in Baton Rouge and he will soon find himself feeling the same flames as his predecessor if he doesn’t produce results.
2016 Record: 8-4 SU, 6-6 ATS, 2-9 O/U
2017 Regular Season Win Total: 9
National Championship Odds: +2386
Odds To Win SEC: +725
Last season was the straw that broke the camel’s back for Les Miles. A season-opening loss to Wisconsin left him with little room to maneuver and he was forced out after LSU’s next defeat. It was a heck of a roller coaster ride for the school during his time on campus and administrators had finally had enough.
It was a shame to see Leonard Fournette’s last year in college end so disappointingly. Fournette was banged up all season long and he wasn’t even able to break the 1,000-yard plateau. He was a monster when healthy though, averaging 6.5 yards per carry and obliterated Ole Miss for 284 yards and three touchdowns on the ground.
Defensive coordinator Dave Aranda turned this defense back into one of the best units in the country. The Tigers only allowed opponents to average 4.8 yards per play and racked up 36 sacks on the season. LSU’s defense was phenomenal in holding Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson down in the Citrus Bowl, sacking him eight times and holding Louisville to just 220 yards of offense.
Everyone is excited about the arrival of new offensive coordinator Matt Canada. Canada turned Pittsburgh into one of the top passing attacks in the country last season and got Nathan Peterman drafted.
The most impressive thing about Canada is that he tailors his scheme around his talent. He is quick to recognize defensive inefficiencies and will exploit them ruthlessly. His offenses have always had success and it’s hard to imagine he doesn’t find success at LSU too.
It may take a while Canada’s hire to bear fruit. LSU’s quarterback situation is a bit of a mess and there are legitimately four different players that can start. Danny Etling is the presumed starter, but who knows whether or not he will be the signal caller when it’s all said and done.
LSU lost Fournette, but Derrius Guice was extremely capable when Fournette was hurt in 2016. Guice is a powerful runner that reaches his top speed quickly and isn’t afraid to bowl over would-be tacklers. He is likely to see a lot of carries this year.
Arden Key is one of the best pass-rushers in the country and will be the leader of a defense that loses a lot of talent from last year. Key had 12 sacks and 11 quarterback hits last season, but will receive a lot more attention now that the team has lost its five leading tacklers from last season.
Saturday, September 2: LSU vs. BYU (in Houston)
Saturday, September 9: LSU vs. Chattanooga
Saturday, September 16: LSU at Mississippi State
Saturday, September 23: LSU vs. Syracuse
Saturday, September 30: LSU vs. Troy
Saturday, October 7: LSU at Florida
Saturday, October 14: LSU vs. Auburn
Saturday, October 21: LSU at Ole Miss
Saturday, November 4: LSU at Alabama
Saturday, November 11: LSU vs. Arkansas
Saturday, November 18: LSU at Tennessee
Saturday, November 25: LSU vs. Texas A&M
|SEC Conference||Big 10 Conference|
|ACC Conference||Big 12 Conference|
|Pac 12 Conference||Big East Conference|
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